Sustainable Design









Moving Textile Artisans’ Communities towards a Sustainable Future: A Theoretical Framework

Francesco Mazzarella, Carolina Escobar-Tello, Val Mitchell

Loughborough Design School

Keywords: textile artisans’ communities, social innovation, sustainable future, service design


The current economic crisis is building momentum for designers to challenge the linear take-make-waste model and explore sustainable strategies, services and systems. With this in mind, this research explores how service design can encourage textile artisans’ communities towards a sustainable future, providing social engagement, rescuing cultural heritage, boosting economic development and enhancing environmental stewardship. Service design is here proposed as an approach to empower such communities, co-design collaborative services and sustain innovations within an enabling ecosystem. The paper focuses on the first study of this research where a theoretical framework to help textile artisans’ communities transitioning to a sustainable future was co-developed with academic experts in the field. A Nominal Group Technique and semi-structure interviews were used to collect data; results and findings are presented as barriers, enablers and a manifesto to encourage a sustainable future. To conclude, next steps and challenges posed by the envisioned future are discussed.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

download the paper (PDF)

Cite this paper: Mazzarella, F., Escobar-Tello, C., Mitchell, V. (2016) Moving Textile Artisans’ Communities Towards a Sustainable Future – A Theoretical Framework. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

Take part in the discussion: Your comments